Make it a priority to call your partner out on unhealthy habits 

Thursday September 17 2020
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Perspective. Focus on why you fell in love with your partner and what you want your life as a couple to become. Even better, tell your partner this without any expectations of them doing the same. PHOTO | SHUTTERSTOCK

By Guest Writer

Whether you have been dating for four weeks or four decades, make it a priority to call your partner out on their unhealthy habits.  A relationship is only as solid as its healthy participants and while no one is perfect we must each set boundaries on what we perceive as intolerable.
Watching someone you love hurt themselves or not support you in living a healthy lifestyle can be inconceivably stressful and may deplete your mental health and self-esteem.  So, I always encourage people I know to stand up for themselves and speak up on behaviour that is not in accordance with how they desire to live their lives.
One of the most important things in a relationship is ensuring that both you and your partner are happy. So, if you find yourself in a predicament where your comfort is compromised and your partner is not doing anything to rectify it, then it could be the very issue that drives your relationship to its end.
It is hard to say what constitutes a bad habit between two people. One party may not see it as such and the other may feel the complete opposite towards it, which will, in turn, create a disconnect. More often than not, the disconnect has less to do with the habit itself but rather, the inability to address it and ease relations between the two of you.
For example, say you are focused on saving not only for a rainy day, but for the future, for investments to set yourself up for financial stability going forward but you are dating or married to someone that is a spendthrift, believes money is just meant to be in circulation and meant to be enjoyed as it is earned; that is an incredibly difficult place to be as a couple. 
It hinders growth when one party goes to great lengths to ensure there is financial security and the other squanders everything they earn or what the couple brings in together for a common goal.
The same could be said about career advancement. One might not always be in the same line of thought as their partner in regards to progression in their career. One might have more focus and drive and the other, a more lacklustre approach to how they see their career moving. This builds tension, resentment and frustration from not being on the same page about where your lives should go.
The same can be said about more personal matters such as addiction. Are you grappling with addiction to substances and your partner is finding it hard to cope? It could also be about poor hygiene. 
Are you someone that is exceptionally neat and prides themselves on how clean they are, but is in a relationship with someone that could not care less about the state of their hygiene?  Basically, any habit being practiced that makes the other party feel uncomfortable in the union needs to be addressed.
Nurturing bad habits can start to build tension, which eventually becomes resentment and could be the dissolution of your relationship. 
For example, if one person smokes and the other is always making snide comments about the habit, it could lead to very sharp responses that could become arguments and eventually blow up into other disagreements but all stemming from the bad habit that has not been done away with.
Sometimes, bad habits are hard to take notice of when you are engulfed in the love and embrace of the early stages of a relationship. This would mean the problem lingers and properly manifests itself later and becomes harder to navigate. 
So, open the lines of communication. Share with a potential partner what you are like and what your boundaries are in regards to what you will and will not tolerate and then pose the question, do you have a bad habit that will make it difficult to continue seeing each other? 
This will not only make it easier for you as a couple but it will also address problem areas and help nurture the good habits and work consciously to eliminate the bad if possible or do away with the relationship if you are unable to contain them.

Bradford Kamuntu  
bradkamuntu@gmail.com

 

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